If you've bought a laptop or pre-built PC or received one as a gift, you may need to remind yourself which graphics card or integrated graphics processing unit (GPU) you have.
Knowing this is useful, and not just for curiosity’s sake. Understanding your GPU hardware will let you know what kind of performance to expect when playing some of the best PC games, or using graphics-heavy software like Adobe Photoshop CC. You can also be sure you’re getting the right updates when manually installing graphics driver software. It’s also easy to do, so just follow these steps and you’ll know how to check which graphics card you have in moments.
We’ll start off with how to check your graphics card on Windows; scroll down to find out how to check your graphics card on macOS.
How to find out which graphics card you have on Windows
1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop. This will bring up a small list of options.
2. Click on Display settings.
3. In the Display settings menu, scroll down to Advanced display settings and click on it.
4. Under Display information, it will list any displays you’re using and which graphics adaptor they’re connected to. This is your graphics card or integrated graphics model.
In the image below, for example, the PC is only connected to one display, and its graphics card is the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090.
There are a few other ways of checking your graphics card on a Windows system. For instance, if you have Nvidia Control Panel installed, you can use it to remind yourself which Nvidia GPU you’re using:
1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop.
2. Click on Nvidia Control Panel to open the software. This should already be installed if you have an Nvidia GPU.
3. In the bottom left corner, click on System Information. This will open a new window.
4. Your graphics card will be listed in the Items field, along with in-depth specs about the card in with Details field.
It's also easy to check an AMD graphics card instead.
1. Install the AMD Radeon Software Adrenaline 2020 Edition software.
2. Open the software and make sure you’re on the Home tab.
3. Your GPU, along with your CPU, will be listed in the Upgrade Advisor box on the right.
Of course, if you want to use Nvidia Control Panel or AMD Radeon Software Adrenaline 2020 Edition, you’ll need an idea of whether you’re using an Nvidia or AMD GPU respectively. And neither of these are helpful if you only have integrated graphics, like Intel’s UHD Graphics.
It’s, therefore, best to use the Windows advanced display settings method first, then once you know whether to install Nvidia or AMD software, you can use that instead to save time whenever you want another reminder.
How to find out which graphics card you have on macOS
Finding out which graphics card is in your Mac or MacBook only takes a couple of clicks:
1. Open the Apple Menu by clicking the Apple icon in the top left of the screen.
2. Click About this Mac. This will list key hardware information about your macOS device, including your graphics processor.
Some Macs and MacBooks include both integrated graphics and a more powerful discrete card. You can find out which macOS apps use the graphics card using the Activity Monitor too.
1. Navigate to your Applications folder, then select the Utilities folder, then double-click on Activity Monitor.
2. This will show a list of active applications with various columns on the right. The Requires High Perf GPU column shows which apps use the more powerful GPU and which don’t.
If the Requires High Perf GPU column doesn’t appear for you, it means you don’t have a discrete GPU; only integrated graphics.